Diary of a Family Physician
Am Fam Physician. 2021 Feb 15;103(4):240.
I drive into the parking garage at my clinic and complete the online self-attestation that I am free of COVID-19 symptoms and exposure risk. We are testing 120 employees today for COVID-19 exposure; I spent more than two hours last night ordering COVID-19 nucleic acid amplification tests. This mass testing effort was the culmination of several discussions with the health department on how to address multiple cases of COVID-19 among employees. Our health department considers four or more positive cases within one week to be an “outbreak,” and anyone who worked at the site during that time needs to be tested, even if they had no direct contact with a person with COVID-19.
We test 60 people, and the line of employees shortens. I take this opportunity to catch up on returning calls from patients. The first message is from a patient with diabetes and an A1C level of 11. She has questions about possible adverse effects from her medications. I call her cell phone, but due to background noise, I have trouble hearing her. I hear a deep voice say, “Pop the trunk!” She explains that her car had broken down on the highway and is being towed. I ask her to call me back at a better time, but she insists on completing the telemedicine visit while riding in the tow truck.
I notice a patient and their child enter an empty examination room and close the door. I know that particular room is not being used today, so I ask the clinic manager who they are. The manager said, “They're here to do a telehealth visit with Dr. M., who is
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This series is coordinated by Sumi Sexton, MD, editor-in-chief.
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